I don't really understand the science behind the mutating pups of Wobbledogs, but I sure do love my new wibbly-wobbly dog family. It's a 3D pet sim where you breed and raise a bunch of Jell-O dogs whose DNA mutates depending on their diet. The dogs start out relatively normal at first, although a bit unsteady on their legs, and feeding them different kinds of food—hamburgers, toffee apples, burritos, and the like—will cause their bodies to change in shape and colour.
Wobbledogs aren't the fastest breed of canine companions. They'll need a little bit of help given the constant wiggle in their step and often you'll need to grab objects and bring it to them, be it food or toys.
Keeping track of all the dogs almost feels like you're chasing around after a group of fragile grandpas, making sure they're eating, sleeping, and haven't fallen over or gotten stuck in a tight space somewhere. You need to be gentle with them, clean up their (bright pink) poo, and most importantly, give them plenty of pets.
You can see inside each dog's gut with a special microscope and examine what microbes are floating around. Clicking on the different microbes tells you how they impact the dog's body, like making a dog's legs a little longer, or changing the colour of its nose. Since you have control over what the dogs eat, you ultimately decide how to mold and shape their evolution, placing you in the peculiar position of both pup parent and gene splicing scientist.
Mutations take place through what Wobbledogs calls the 'pupation process.' Throughout a wobbledogs' lifetime, there are several moments where they will 'pupate' which means—prepare yourself—they form a cocoon around their bodies and hoist themselves up into the air. When the pup is ready, you can click on the suspended cocoon and it will hatch, dropping the newly mutated dog—and a whole bunch of gelatinous liquid—onto the floor. When the 'pupation' process is over, you'll get a breakdown of their new mutations. I will leave gif evidence of this below.
The pupation process is a slow one, with only small mutations taking place during each hatch, but over time the dogs' bodies begin to change. You can try and control the dog's mutations by looking at what microbes (called flora) they need for the desired change and tailoring their diet as needed, but you'll never truly know what the dog will look like when it mutates.
I experimented a little with different foods, and it was pretty cool when my wobbledog Pancake hatched with green ears and a nose. I still haven't figured out how to give them tails yet, but it's something I'm avidly working on.
I know you're not supposed to have favourites in a family, but I had a massive soft spot for my wobbledog Stubs. When Stubs was hatched from his egg, he landed upside down and, bless his soul, he could not stand up. The combination of a long rectangle body and extremely long legs meant that he could only wiggle on the floor, trying to find purchase on his incredibly long limbs. Just as I was about to gently try and prop him up, he did manage to find his footing, and, like a newly born baby deer, he began to adorably hobble across the floor.
Unfortunately, Woggledogs have a short lifespan, and after only a handful of mutations, it's time for them to pass on. My first wobbledog Mingle had lived a good life, and when it was his time to go he howled one final time and then slumped to the floor relatively peacefully. The other dogs then howled in a shared outpouring of sadness, which I thought was super adorable, but then started eating his corpse which was...less adorable.
It's these moments that sum up Wobbledogs. It's a cutesy, pet sim where you get to take care of a bunch of oddball dogs, but it also has strange moments where I don't know whether to laugh or be slightly horrified.
Wobbledogs has only just released into Early Access on Steam and developers Animal Uprising plan for it to stay there for a year. I've enjoyed what I've played of Wobbledogs so far, and those weird, adorable dogs have officially wobbled their way into my heart.